David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The claims of some authors to have introduced a new type of explanation in cosmology, based on the anthropic principle, are examined and found wanting. The weak anthropic principle is neither anthropic nor a principle. Either in its direct or in its Bayesian form, it is a mere tautology lacking explanatory force and unable to yield any prediction of previously unknown results. It is a pattern of inference, not of explanation. The strong anthropic principle is a gratuitous speculation with no other support than previous religious commitment or the assumption of an actual infinity of universes, for which there is no the slightest empirical hint. But even assuming so much, it does not work. In particular, the assumption of an infinity of different universes is no guarantee of finding among them one like this one. The loose anthropic way of reasoning does not stand up to the usual methodological standards of empirical science. And it does not signal any anthropocentric turn in contemporary science.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Mark A. Walker & M. Milan (2006). Astrophysical Fine Tuning, Naturalism, and the Contemporary Design Argument. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):285 – 307.
Chris Smeenk (forthcoming). Predictability Crisis in Early Universe Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Similar books and articles
S. Roush (2003). Copernicus, Kant, and the Anthropic Cosmological Principles. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (1):5-35.
Nick Bostrom (2002). Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy. Routledge.
Quentin Smith (1992). The Anthropic Coincidences, Evil and the Disconfirmation of Theism. Religious Studies 28 (3):347 - 350.
F. Bertola & Umberto Curi (eds.) (1988). The Anthropic Principle: Proceedings of the Second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Milan M. Ćirković (2002). Anthropic Fluctuations Vs. Weak Anthropic Principle. Foundations of Science 7 (4):453-463.
Frank J. Tipler (1988). The Anthropic Principle: A Primer for Philosophers. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:27 - 48.
John Leslie (1986). Anthropic Explanations in Cosmology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:87 - 95.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads191 ( #3,219 of 1,103,226 )
Recent downloads (6 months)33 ( #3,301 of 1,103,226 )
How can I increase my downloads?